Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Privacy Statement

This document was last updated on April 18, 2003.

General

As with all Microsoft Office System products, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 is designed to allow you to quickly assemble, display, and share your data with others. Microsoft is committed to helping protect the privacy of your data and helping ensure that you have full control over how your data is used and distributed.

This privacy statement applies to Microsoft Office Excel 2003. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.

Except as otherwise described in this statement, personal information that you save in Microsoft Office Excel 2003 is not sent to Microsoft, and information that is sent to Microsoft is not shared outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your permission.

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and the Internet

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 includes several features that access the Internet in order to provide you with further information or the ability to share data with others. These features are available any time you have an active connection to the Internet. Each of these features will be explained further later in this statement.

Personal information collected by Microsoft as part of providing you with these features may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country/region in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, or agents maintain facilities. By using this program, you consent to any such transfer of information outside your country/region. Microsoft abides by the safe harbor framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Union.

Microsoft occasionally hires other companies to provide limited services on its behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of mailings or providing customer support. We will only provide those companies with the personal information they need in order to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of that information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Microsoft may access and/or disclose personal information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Microsoft or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Microsoft and its family of Web sites; or (c) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, users of Microsoft products or services, or members of the public.

Any time Microsoft Office Excel 2003 contacts a Microsoft server, your IP address is sent along with the request. Your language and country/region preference may also be included with the request. We collect this information in order to provide you with the services that you requested.

After any Microsoft Office System product has been installed on a computer, future Internet requests from that computer will contain header information that includes the name and version number of your Microsoft Office System software. This information is used by Web sites to give you materials that are compatible with your version of the Microsoft Office System. The header does not contain personally identifiable information.

Cookies

Some Microsoft Office Excel 2003 features use cookies. The features that do so are described in detail later in this statement.

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Web server. Microsoft does not use cookies to run programs on your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a Web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. For example, a cookie used by Microsoft Office Excel 2003 helps Office Excel 2003 to remember Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services sites that you have previously visited. This simplifies the process of finding the site again and delivering relevant content.

Whenever Microsoft Office Excel 2003 contacts a Microsoft server, it can potentially save or access cookies. These cookies include a flag to indicate whether you have any Microsoft Office System products installed on your system and the language and locale that you have selected for your Internet preferences, which may be separate from the language and locale that you have selected for your applications. We also use cookies to assist in collecting information about which pages our customers visit within Microsoft Office Online. This site visitation data is identified only by a unique ID number, and it is never linked with personal information unless a user consents as described elsewhere in this privacy statement.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by changing the Internet options in Microsoft Internet Explorer (on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab). Microsoft Office will abide by the privacy settings you select in Internet Explorer and will not download cookies if you have chosen not to allow cookies to be downloaded. Those features, described later in this statement, that use cookies may not work correctly with this setting in place. Cookies previously saved to your hard disk may still be read by Office unless you use the Internet Options command in Internet Explorer to remove previously saved cookies.

Microsoft Office Activation

Microsoft requires that you activate Microsoft Office Excel 2003 to verify that your installation is done with a genuine Microsoft product. Activation is completely anonymous; no personal information is required nor will any personal information be sent to Microsoft.

During activation, the product ID and a non-unique hardware identification are sent to Microsoft. The product ID is generated from the product key used to install the software and a generic code representing the version and language of Office being activated. The non-unique hardware identification represents the configuration of your computer at the time of activation. The hardware identification does not include any personally identifiable information about you, any information about other software or data that may reside on your computer, or any information about the specific make or model of your computer. The hardware identification identifies the computer solely for the purpose of activation. Office can detect and accept changes to your computer configuration. Minor upgrades will not require reactivation. If you completely overhaul your computer, you may be required to activate your product again.

None of the information collected will be used to personally identify you and none of this information is shared with partners outside Microsoft. The information is stored in a controlled environment, and access to this information by Microsoft personnel is also limited. This information is used strictly for the purpose of validating the license for your product.

Microsoft Office Customer Registration

During the setup process for your software, you have the option to register your software with Microsoft. Registration is not the same as activation. While activation is required in order for your software to work correctly, registration is optional and is completely separate from activation. When you register, Microsoft can send you customized information and offers regarding future products, as well as provide improved product support and product update information.

The Registration Wizard will ask you to enter information in a number of fields, including your name, e-mail address, and other information. Any information that you enter into these fields will be sent to Microsoft and stored in a profile database.

Microsoft uses this profile database to determine your preferences for product offers and services that you may be interested in. Microsoft does not sell your information or share it with any third parties except companies acting as agents who perform services on behalf of Microsoft. We will only provide those companies the personal information that they need in order to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

You can unsubscribe from any e-mail newsletters or change this information at any time from the Microsoft.com site by changing your profile settings from the Manage Your Profile page.

Client to Server Redirector

From time to time, Microsoft may change some of the Web addresses (URLs) of the Web services that it provides. In order to ensure uninterrupted service, Microsoft may serve a file to your system containing the new Web addresses that Microsoft Office Excel 2003 needs to access in order to allow you to use Web services.

When you first select a feature that requires Office Excel 2003 to connect to a Web service, Office Excel 2003 will send a request to download an XML file, along with the name of your application, the locale and language you have selected, and the version of the application that you have. Based on that information, Microsoft will send to your client an XML file that contains a list of URLs for the Microsoft Office Web services.

Search

When you are connected to the Internet, if you choose to search Help, templates, clip art, media, or shapes for a particular word or phrase, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 will use that word or phrase to search Microsoft Office Online. This gives you access to a large and dynamic set of content, including the very latest revisions of that content.

When you choose to search for a phrase, Office Excel 2003 will send that phrase to Microsoft Office Online, along with the language you have requested, the application currently in use, the location in the application user interface from which you asked the question, and the search scope that you have requested. If you are using a document template, Office Excel 2003 will also send the ID for that template, which uniquely identifies the template but not your individual document. (See later in this statement for more information about template use.) Microsoft Office Online will return the records that you have requested.

If you want to enable or disable this feature, click Online Content Settings at the bottom of the Help task pane, and select or clear the Search online content when connected check box.

Using Templates

The Template Help pane is an optional feature that provides you with up-to-date assistance for documents that are based on templates downloaded from Microsoft Office Online. The Template Help pane also allows you to send feedback and to provide a numeric rating for each template that you download.

With this option turned on, when you open a template, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 will contact Microsoft Office Online and send the ID for that template and the application that you are currently using.

The template ID is used to identify the original template as downloaded from Microsoft Office Online or included in your Microsoft Office Excel 2003 installation. It does not uniquely identify your document. The ID is the same for all users of the same template.

If you want to enable or disable this feature, click Online Content Settings at the bottom of the Help task pane. Select or clear the Show Template Help automatically when available check box to reflect your preference.

Featured Links Updates

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 provides a list of links in the Getting Started task pane and the Help task pane. You can choose to update these links on a regular schedule by clicking Automatically update this list from the web in the featured links section. If you choose to update these links regularly, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 will periodically contact Microsoft Office Online with the name of the application that you are using and will return updated links to Microsoft Office Excel 2003.

If you want to enable or disable this feature, click Online Content Settings at the bottom of the Help task pane. Select or clear the Show Microsoft Office Online featured links check box to reflect your preference.

Linking to Pictures and Other Documents

If you choose to create a link to an image, file, or other document on your hard disk, the path to that file is saved into your document. In some cases, the link may include your user name.

Also, when you apply an XML Schema to a document, a path to the XML Schema that you have created is saved to the document. In some cases, that path may include your user name.

Printing

When you print a document and then save it, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 saves the path to your printer with the document. In some cases, the path may include a user name or computer name.

Passport Authentication

Some features of Microsoft Office Excel 2003 may require Microsoft .NET Passport to provide sign-in and registration services. In order to sign in by using .NET Passport, you will be asked to type your e-mail address and a password. This same Passport sign-in allows you to access many other Passport participating sites and services. If you create a .NET Passport at this site, you are simultaneously registering with Office Excel 2003 and opening a .NET Passport account. All of the registration information you provide will be stored by the Office Excel 2003 online service, and some or all of that information will also be stored by .NET Passport in your Passport profile. To learn more about the Passport service, the information stored in the Passport profile, and how Passport uses and helps to protect your personal information, please read the .NET Passport privacy statement.

Document Workspaces

With Microsoft Office Excel 2003, you can access a Document Workspace on a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site. A Document Workspace is a shared space where you can quickly and easily collaborate with other team members on one or multiple documents.

When you access a Document Workspace, Office Excel 2003 downloads some data from the Document Workspace in order to provide you with information about that workspace. Specifically, Office Excel 2003 obtains the name of the Windows SharePoint Services site; the URL or address of the site; the names, e-mail addresses, and permission levels of the site users; and lists of the documents, tasks, and other information available from the site.

Office Excel 2003 also stores a list of the Windows SharePoint Services sites that you have visited on your computer, in the form of cookies. This list is used to provide you with quick access to the sites that you have visited before. The list of sites that you have visited is not accessed by Microsoft and is not exposed to the Internet unless you choose to make the list more broadly available.

Fax Service

The Fax Service allows you to send a fax over the Internet and organize the faxes that you have sent in Microsoft Outlook. In order to use the Fax Service, you must sign up with a fax service provider, separate from Microsoft, that will process the faxes and send them over the Internet. Microsoft does not collect any data from this transaction.

When you sign up for the Fax Service, the fax service provider creates a “registration package,” which is stored by the fax service provider and by Microsoft Office Excel 2003. The package consists of the address of the fax service provider’s Web site and a “token” confirming your access to the fax service provider. When you send a fax from an Office application, this registration package is appended to the document.

You can also use the Fax Service to calculate the price of a fax without actually sending the fax. If you choose to calculate the price of a fax, Office Excel 2003 will use an SSL connection to send your registration token, the phone number where the fax is to be sent, and the number of pages of the fax to the fax service provider. Microsoft does not receive or store this information.

Research and Reference

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 allows you to request information about a particular term or phrase from a number of premium content providers. When you request a search on a particular word or phrase, Office Excel 2003 will use the Internet to send the text you have requested, the software product that you are currently using, the locale to which your system is set, and authorization information indicating that you have the right to download research information if needed by the third party.

Office Excel 2003 sends this information to the third-party information provider that you have selected. The third-party provider will return information about the word or phrase that you have requested in a form appropriate for your software and your locale.

Frequently, the information that you receive will include a link to further information from the third-party content provider’s site. If you click this link, the content provider may add a cookie to your system to identify you for future transactions. Please note that Microsoft is not responsible for the privacy practices of third-party sites.

Microsoft does not receive or store any of this information unless you have queried a Microsoft-owned service.

Translation Service

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 allows you to translate all or part of your document by using a bilingual dictionary or a machine translation. You have a choice of how you want to translate your document. You can select or enter a word or phrase that you want to translate, or you can choose to translate the entire document.

If you select or enter a word or phrase that you want to translate, the phrase that you have entered will be compared with a bilingual dictionary. Some bilingual dictionaries are included with your software; others are available from Microsoft Office Online.

If you choose to perform a “Whole Document Translation,” your document will be sent to a third-party translation service.

If you choose to use one of the dictionaries available on Microsoft Office Online or a third-party translation service, Office Excel 2003 will use the Internet to send the text that you have requested, the type of software you have, and the locale and language to which your system is set. For third-party translation services, Office Excel 2003 may also send previously cached authentication information indicating that you have previously signed up for access to the site.

Frequently, the information that you receive will include a link to further information from the third-party translation service’s site. If you click this link, the content provider may add a cookie to your system to identify you for future transactions.

Windows SharePoint Services

Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services provides shared, Web-based workspaces where you can collaborate on documents or meetings.

When you access a SharePoint site, by using either the Web browser or any Office product, the site will save a cookie to your computer if you have permissions to create a new subsite on that site. Taken together, these cookies form a list of sites to which you have permissions. This list is used by several Office applications to provide you with quick access to the sites that you have visited before.

The list of sites that you have visited is not accessed by Microsoft and is not exposed to the Internet unless you choose to make the list more broadly available.

You can clear this list by using your Web browser to clear your cache of cookies.

Windows SharePoint Services also saves a list of the five workspaces that you have used most recently to your system’s registry. The registry entry contains the site name and URL of each of these five workspaces. This allows you to easily keep track of the workspaces that you use most often.

In Windows SharePoint Services, when you create a new Web site or list, or add or invite users to an existing Web site or list, the site saves the following for each user, including you:

  • Full name
  • E-mail address
  • User logon name (Windows NT logon — for example, DOMAIN\username)

A user ID will be added to every element that you or the other users of the site add to the site. As with all of the content on the SharePoint site, only administrators and members of the site itself should have access to this information.

All elements of the SharePoint site include two fields: Created By and Modified By. The Created By field is filled in with the user name of the person who originally created the element and the date on which it was created. The Modified By field is filled in with the user name of the person who last modified the document and the date on which it was last modified.

Administrators of the servers where SharePoint sites are hosted have access to some data from these sites, which is used for analyzing the usage patterns of the site and improving the percentage of time that the site is available. This data is only available to the server administrators and is not shared with Microsoft unless Microsoft is hosting the SharePoint site. The data specifically captured includes the names, e-mail addresses, and permissions of everyone with access to the site.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

You have the option of joining our Customer Experience Improvement Program to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.

If you join, Microsoft will collect anonymous information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. We will also periodically download a small file to your computer that enables us to collect information about specific errors you may encounter while using Microsoft software. When available, new Help information about the errors will also be automatically downloaded.

Microsoft will not collect your name, address, or any other personally identifiable information.

For more information and to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, on the Help menu, click Customer Feedback Options to open the Service Options dialog box. The full privacy statement for the Customer Experience Improvement Program is also available from the Service Options dialog box.

Microsoft Error Reporting

The Microsoft Error Reporting tool allows users to report errors to Microsoft over the Internet. When an error occurs, users with an Internet connection can immediately report the error to Microsoft. If the error report indicates that one or more third-party products were involved in causing the problem, Microsoft may send the report to those third parties. Qualified software or hardware developers (employed by Microsoft or one of its partners) will analyze the fault data and try to identify and correct the problem.

Although the tool does not intentionally collect personally identifiable information, it is possible that such information may be captured in memory or in the data collected from open files. Microsoft will not use this information to identify users.

For complete information about the Microsoft Error Reporting tool including a full privacy statement, please see the Microsoft Error Reporting Privacy Statement.

Instant Messaging and Notifications

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 provides you with the ability to send instant messages from within the application itself and provides you with the ability to be alerted when people are online or when certain changes are made to shared documents or workspaces.

Office Excel 2003 uses Microsoft Windows Messenger (or, on networks using Microsoft Exchange Server systems, Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging Service) to enable you to see the online presence of others and to send messages to them. For information about the privacy features of either Windows Messenger or Exchange Instant Messaging Service, in the messenger client, click Privacy Policy on the Help menu.

Office Excel 2003 includes a Web control that allows instant messaging presence to be displayed within a Web page. The purpose of this feature is to allow you to use Web pages to collaborate directly with others working on the same documents or workspaces.

Web page scripts that are written with this Web control in mind can transmit presence data from your Windows Messenger program to the Web server hosting the script. By default, this functionality is only enabled for intranet sites, trusted sites, and sites on the local computer.

Windows SharePoint Services pages and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 pages both make use of this control. Both of these types of pages do not transmit presence data back to the Web server.

When you visit a Windows SharePoint Services site or a SharePoint Portal Server site and create an alert, Office Excel 2003 will add a cookie to your computer with the following data:

  • The name of the site
  • The URL address of the site
  • Whether the alert source is a Windows SharePoint Services site or a SharePoint Portal Server site
  • The URL used by the site to expose the alert service

The data in this cookie allows alerts from the site to be served to you correctly. Microsoft does not access this cookie unless the cookie was served originally from a Microsoft server, in which case the cookie is used exclusively by the Windows SharePoint Services or SharePoint Portal Server site.

If you are using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, you can access, edit, and delete the alerts that you have subscribed to by opening Outlook and clicking Rules and Alerts on the Tools menu. The Rules and Alerts dialog box displays all the alerts that you have subscribed to from any Windows SharePoint Services or SharePoint Portal Server sites.

It is also possible to receive an alert message through e-mail. By default, you can only receive alert messages from your local computer or from your intranet, not from the Internet.

When you go to the Manage Alerts page, Outlook will send a request to every server recorded by using one of the cookies or e-mail messages mentioned earlier.

Comments

By default, if you save comments to a file, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 prepends the comment with your initials. This information is available to anyone who has access to your file.

You can remove your personal information from these comments by selecting the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab). For information about this feature, please read more about how to Remove personal or hidden information.

Track Changes

By default, when you make changes to a file with the Track Changes feature turned on, a log is created that associates your name with all of the changes that you have made to that file. This information is available to anyone who has access to your file.

You can remove your personal information from these changes by selecting the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab). For information about this feature, please read more about how to Remove personal or hidden information.

Where Your Name May Be Stored

In certain instances, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 stores your name to provide you with a better experience for some features. These include:

  • Author fields
  • The AuthorName file property
  • Comments
  • Edits made with the Track Changes feature turned on

You can remove your name from these fields by selecting the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab). For information about this feature, please read more about how to Remove personal or hidden information.

If you use the Microsoft Office Web Control, Microsoft Excel Data Access, DataCalc, or any other feature that allows you to connect directly to another data source within your own document, your authorization information (userID and password) may be saved within your document. To change or delete this authorization information, you will need to change the properties of the connection appropriately.

File Properties

By default, every file saved by Microsoft Office Excel 2003 includes the following file properties:

  • Author
  • Manager
  • Company
  • Last Saved By
  • Names of document reviewers

This information is available to anyone who has access to your file.

You can remove your personal information from these file properties by selecting the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab). For information about this feature, please read more about how to Remove personal or hidden information.

Sending a Document as an E-Mail Message or as an Attachment

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 allows you to send a document as an e-mail message. When you do so, you have the option to include some introductory text for the document. If you then save the document, the introductory text that you have written is saved into the document itself and is viewable by anyone with access to that document. To remove this text, you need to manually delete it and close the introductory text window, or, where available, select the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab). For information about this feature, please read more about how to Remove personal or hidden information.

Recording Macros

Macro recording allows you to record a sequence of actions so that you can reproduce them later. If you choose to record a macro, your user name is saved in the Description property of the macro and as a comment in the code when the macro is initially created. You can manually remove your user name from these two locations.

Shared Workbooks

When you share a workbook in Microsoft Office Excel 2003, the application stores a change history with the workbook that includes your user name and the user name of every individual who made changes to the workbook. This change history is necessary to allow sharing of the workbook. To remove this change history, click Share Workbook on the Tools menu, and clear the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box.

Sharing a workbook is incompatible with the Remove Personal Information from File Properties on Save feature. You must clear the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box (Tools menu, Options command, Security tab) before sharing the workbook. Likewise, you must remove the workbook from shared use before setting the Remove Personal Information from File Properties on Save feature.

List Datasheet View

The list datasheet view allows you to quickly enter data into a Windows SharePoint Services list. When you create or edit a row in a list, that data is immediately stored on the Windows SharePoint Services site in the list. In addition, Windows SharePoint Services stores your user name in the Created By or Modified By field, depending on whether you created the row or edited the row.

Information Rights Management

Information Rights Management (IRM) allows you to give certain users or groups the right to access and modify a document. Despite some similarities, IRM is not the same as Document Protection (see later in this statement for more information about Document Protection). IRM allows you to set permissions to the entire document for very specific actions, such as printing a document or forwarding the document to others, as well as for reading or editing the document.

When you store a document with IRM enabled, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 saves to the document a list of every user who has rights to that document and what their permissions are. This information is encrypted so that only the document owners have access to it.

Additionally, documents with IRM contain "content licenses." The content license contains an e-mail address, permission information, and authentication information. Any time someone attempts to open a document with IRM, Office Excel 2003 checks the content licenses saved in the document against the user’s identity. If the user has never opened the document before, Office Excel 2003 will contact an IRM server, verify the user’s identity, download a new content license for the user (provided that the user has the necessary rights), and save that content license to the document.

Document owners have the option to avoid saving content licenses to the document. If, however, a content license is not saved to the document, Office Excel 2003 must contact the IRM server every time the document is opened. If Office Excel 2003 is not connected to a network or cannot contact the IRM server, the document cannot be opened.

For more information about privacy on the IRM server, please search Microsoft.com for further information on Information Rights Management.

Document Protection

Document Protection allows you to protect your document in various ways, such as giving only certain users rights to edit, make comments, or read the document.

When you use Document Protection, you will be asked to enter user IDs into the document. These user IDs may be in the form of Windows NT Domain accounts (for example, DOMAIN\username) or Microsoft .NET Passport IDs/e-mail addresses (for example, someone@example.com). These user IDs are stored whenever you give a user rights to read or change a range of text.

If you choose to save this file with a password or with Information Rights Management, only you and others who have been granted access will be able to see these user IDs. However, it is possible to protect the document without using a password. If you choose to protect the document without a password, anyone reading the document can see the user IDs of those who have been given access. Also, if the document is saved as XML or HTML, the user IDs will be available to anyone who reads the file.

Security

Microsoft is committed to helping protect the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

Microsoft may occasionally update this privacy statement. The “last updated” date at the top of the privacy statement will be updated with every revision. The revised privacy statement will be included with a future service pack of Microsoft Office Excel 2003. Your continued use of Microsoft Office Excel 2003 constitutes your agreement to this privacy statement and any updates.

Contact Information

Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you believe that Microsoft has not adhered to this statement, please contact us by e-mail or postal mail, and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem.

Microsoft Office Privacy
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Please send e-mail to tow-priv@microsoft.com with a subject line of Office Privacy.

To find contact details for the Microsoft subsidiary or affiliate in your country or region, see Microsoft Worldwide.

See Also:
See Also: